April 23, 2007

Nessun Integrale

Or in English (at least this is what I'm hoping that the title means - my Italian is very much at the beginners level): not one Integrale.

Picture of me jogging on the rooftop

At the start of the month, Rebecca and I spent a long weekend over in Turin, in Northern Italy on the edge of the Alps. For a while now, we've been planning on spending a year in Italy and this visit was part holiday, part fact-finding trip to see if Turin would work as our home.

The initial impressions as we travelled to the hotel from the airport were of a rather industrial city. That isn't too surprising given that Turin is the home of FIAT and Lancia, something that was reinforced when we arrived at our desitnation - Le Meridien Lingotto.

The hotel is part of a complex including restaurants and a shopping mall, converted from an old factory building, but not just any factory building. It's the old FIAT Lingotto factory, still with its mile-long test track on the roof (as featured in the original Italian Job). The picture above shows me on what is now the hotel's unique jogging circuit.

Those initial feelings proved to be too simplistic as we explored the city over the next few days. As with anywhere in Italy, there's a wealth of picturesque piazzas and beautiful architecture. Not to mention the array of restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias; all serving sublime food. We even found the market - stalls piled high with fresh and tasty-looking produce - and a little side street leading towards the river lined with butchers, bakers and delicatessens... looking forward to shopping there for ingredients in our own cooking.

A weekend break has a different vibe if you're wondering whether you could live in the city, rather than just sight-seeing. Trying the city on for size - districts are potential neighbourhoods; bars a potential "local"; restaurants a potential favourite haunt. You can't get a proper feel of the place in just four days, but we didn't find anything to scare us off. All that remains is to get things sorted here in Cambridge so that we can move sometime this summer.

And the title of this entry? Well, in the home of Lancia I was expecting to catch sight of the odd Integrale here and there - but despite seeing a couple of dozen Deltas (evenly split between nuovo and old) the nearest was an HF Turbo. I was torn between being disappointed and secretly pleased that I'll still be driving something a bit different and unusual.


Posted by Adrian at April 23, 2007 10:05 AM | TrackBack

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